If you’re still handing out a small paper business card, perhaps it’s time to give it an upgrade? No, we’re not talking about redesigning your card to make it flashier. We’re talking about switching gears and write your own book.
Are books the new business cards?
The business card has been around for decades. It’s a staple of networking, much like the business suit or briefcase. To walk around without a business card would be akin to being naked in the professional world.
But can we be honest about something?
Most business cards are basically worthless at this point. Few people actually ask for one these days. Instead, we go straight to Google or LinkedIn.
Business cards used to be necessary in order to connect with someone. Now you can do it virtually and save the paper.
But that’s not to say the basic premise of what originally made valuable business cards isn’t still true. If you want to make a solid first impression on someone, there’s power in handing them something tangible.
In this market where a business card does little to help you stand out, other business owners and entrepreneurs are finding it more powerful to dig just a bit deeper. Some are finding that writing a book — yes, a physical, published book that you hold in your hands — is a better way.
Your book can become your business card.
Yes, it’ll cost a bit more than the 25 cents it takes to print a card, but it’s not as expensive as you might think. (And the results are unbelievable.)
This is a technique that Jim Edwards, one of today’s leading minds in digital marketing, used when he was just starting his career. At that time, he was a real estate agent with no experience, trying to make a name for himself.
“My book was about how to sell your house yourself. I would send my book ahead of time when I had an appointment. When I showed up to look at their house, one of three things would happen,” Edwards recalls.
Some people would say, “Wow, great book, I think I’ll be able to use it to sell my house.” He would then keep in touch with these people over time to build a relationship.
Other people would say, “Wow, I don’t want to go through all of these steps. Can you help me sell my house?” These people became clients.
The third group of people would actually use the book to sell their house. Then they would work with Edwards to buy their next one.
It didn’t matter the outcome; his “business card” worked wonders.
Since then, he’s shifted careers multiple times, but he’s always used this approach. Plus, he’s taught thousands of other people to do the same.
Why couldn’t this strategy work for you?
When Edwards was originally doing this, it cost him $29 to go through the process of printing a book. Plus, he had to print large quantities and store them in his garage.
Today, you can print a book on-demand for just a few bucks.
Even in the digital age, our society still has a special place for published authors. It’s something that immediately creates clout and exudes authority.
But do you want to know a little secret? Thanks to DIY self-publishing platforms, such as Amazon, you don’t even have to convince a clearinghouse to publish your book. You can do it yourself!
This makes it one of the easiest ways to “buy” authority in the modern marketplace.
The 5 Easy Steps to Writing Your Own Book
We’re not going to go into great detail about each of these steps, but here’s a basic breakdown of what it takes to write, publish, and print your own book to be used as a “business card” for yourself or your company.
1. First, come up with an idea.
Come up with an idea that not only resonates with your audience — think about how Edwards chose a topic that aligned with his target clients — but also helps position you in an authoritative light.
2. Second, write a basic outline.
Create a very basic outline of all the main points you want to cover. Ideally, there should be somewhere between five to 10 chapters. However, the length of the book doesn’t matter. It could be anywhere from 50 to 300 pages. Above all, the key is to include all of the information you need to cover.
3. Write the book.
You can write the book yourself and hire a copy editor to clean it up. Alternatively, you can hire a ghostwriter. If writing it yourself, you’ll need to aim to write 1,000 words per day for a month or two. On the other hand, if hiring a ghostwriter, expect to spend several thousand dollars.
4. Design the cover.
Once the content is underground, think about title options and cover designs. Keep it simple and make sure it speaks to the style of your own personal brand. Simple covers do the best.
In conclusion, work with a printer that allows you to do on-demand printing. This means you can print one copy, 100 copies, or even 1,000 copies at a time.
Using a book as a business card is a no-brainer. Now you just have to execute. Additionally, if you already write and edit a blog, you’re more than halfway there.
Take each step slowly and work your way through the process. Depending on how much of the book you write yourself and how long it is, it’s not unreasonable to go from start to finish in 90 days. Get to work!